“We Are In Quarantine”: Letters from Agnes Temple to Her Brother Thomas and Father Walter, 6 May 1923

by Paul R. Spitzzeri As we are in our seventh week of stay-at-home orders in California to reduce the spread and "flatten the curve" of COVID-19 cases, we are all looking forward to what the near-future holds in terms of loosening restrictions and gradually being able to resume some of the "normal" functions of everyday... Continue Reading →

“Soon We Shall All Be Reunited Again”: A Letter from Thomas W. Temple II to Walter P. Temple, Sr., 20 March 1926

by Paul R. Spitzzeri One of the more notable aspects of the Homestead's history during the ownership of the ranch by Walter P. Temple from 1917 to 1932 is that he and his wife, Laura Gonzalez, having amassed a small fortune through the stunning discovery of oil on their Montebello-area ranch, decided to send their... Continue Reading →

No Place Like Home: A Trio of La Casa Nueva Construction Photographs, ca. 1924

by Paul R. Spitzzeri While there are only two known exterior photographs of the Workman House prior to 1900, which is perhaps not surprising, given that images from the 19th century were largely taken by professionals and, in rural regions, like in the (La) Puente, such things were even rarer, there are plenty of photos... Continue Reading →

On This Day: A Letter from Thomas W. Temple II to Walter P. Temple, 8 November 1926

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Just after the royalty checks started arriving from the first oil well on the Temple lease at the Montebello field in summer 1917, Walter and Laura Temple began sending their four surviving children (a daughter died in infancy) to local private schools.  Within a couple of years, eldest child, Thomas W.... Continue Reading →

“Bringing Back Our Yesterdays”: The Olvera Street Plan in “Southern California Business” Magazine, August 1929

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Olvera Street, the short lane running north from the Plaza, the historic center of Los Angeles, is a remarkable phenomenon of contested history.  While created (as distinct from "restored") as a purported monument to pre-American California and also positioned as a major tourist attraction with a variety of shops and restaurants... Continue Reading →

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